Main | Friday, November 21, 2014

KANSAS: ACLU To Sue To Force State To Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

Via the Wichita Eagle:
The lawyer who successfully sued to overturn Kansas’ ban on same-sex marriage in federal court now plans to amend the lawsuit in order to force state agencies to grant marriage benefits to same-sex couples. Same-sex couples in Kansas can get marriage licenses from Sedgwick and other counties and use those licenses to marry anywhere in the state after a federal district court ruled the ban was unconstitutional earlier this month. However, state agencies have refused to grant newly married same-sex couples the same rights as other legally married couples while Attorney General Derek Schmidt appeals the case.

Doug Bonney, who represented the couples suing the state, said the plaintiffs would amend their complaint to force state agencies to recognize the marriages and grant full legal rights to the newly married couples. This includes the right to change the last name on your driver’s license to your spouse’s. For the spouses of state employees, it also includes receiving state health care benefits. Bonney said they would sue Gov. Sam Brownback if necessary. He added the governor has the authority to direct agencies on how to respond to the ruling but said the administration’s combative response was disappointing. He also said it would cost taxpayers a lot of money in the long run.
A large number of Kansas counties are also continuing to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

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